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Poster: oh_uh_um_ah Date: Jul 21, 2009 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

name one book you've read on muslims, islam, jihad, or the history of the middle east, north africa, southern europe, the mediterranean, asia minor...

here's a website you're sure to hate:


JIHAD....what the fuck do you think that is?

The Koran does say if two men commit a lewd act and repent, it is a forgivable sin...its in the book called women, I think it's like sura 4:13-33...I always tell my gay friends.

PS: BRO? like Jesus never called ANYONE a Christian, he always called them sinners. I am a sinner, just like you.

This post was modified by oh_uh_um_ah on 2009-07-21 22:29:26

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 21, 2009 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

And if Jesus Christ was as boring as you, I'd have picked up a hammer and slammed in the last nail....

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 22, 2009 9:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

I'll name one book for you:

* Turks, Moors, and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery
(Columbia UP, 1999)

I won't name others I read, for you. Just in general, I liked these and found all of them in SF, Berkeley, Palo Alto, or Menlo Park:

* Islam in Britain, 1558-1685 (Cambridge UP, 1998)

Arabic and European captivity accounts (Matar having been himself held hostage in Beirut in 1986)
* Piracy, Slavery, and Redemption (Columbia UP, 2001),
* In the Lands of the Christians: Arabic Travel Writing in the Seventeenth Century (Routledge, 2003).

There's many more, but I'd recommend:

* Maria Menocal, The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians, and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

* The Cross and The Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters by Richard Fletcher

* George Makdisi, The Rise of Colleges (1981) and (only skimmed) The Rise of Humanism (1990)

* The Venture of Islam, 3 Volumes, by Marshall Hodgson (I read parts)

* The Matter of Araby in Medieval England by Dorothee Metlitzki

* American Palestine: Melville, Twain, and the Holy Land Mania by Hilton Obenzinger

* Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas by Sylviane Diouf

* The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World, 1776-1815 by Robert Allison

* For Zion's Sake: The Judeo-Christian Tradition in American Culture by Fuad Shaban

* Norman Daniel, Islam And The West: The making of an image (formidable for neocons)

* Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1979)

* "The Truth about Muslims" by William Dalrymple in the New York Review of Books
and recently

Also The Oxford History of Islam, edited by John Esposito is quite readable with nice pictures.

For the religion of Islam you could try:

* The Vision of Islam by Sachiko Murata and William C. Chittick, commissioned by an academic friend I met in the SF Zen Center

* Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light by Sachiko Murata
amazing perspective

* Ibn 'Abbad of Ronda: Letters on the Sufi Path by John Renard (SJ), part of the Paulist Press Classics of Western Spirituality.

I lost most of these in a fire 7 move last year, so the stroll down memory lane was refreshing. More than I thought; couldn't stop. Thanks.

Several of the books are previewed at:

Background on ME:

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

* The Venture of Islam, 3 Volumes, by Marshall Hodgson (I read parts)

He died during volume 3 so not his completed work. Really kind of a definitive volume. What I relied on when I did graduate level Islamic studies and used extensively on courses in Islamic law (my law school "thesis" was on the concept of "riba" - the Islamic prohibition against interest. The old Deutronomic double standard re usury).

But what do I know?

Here's my main mentor for things Islamic:

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 22, 2009 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Don't think I ever read Bruce Lawrence; not an academic.

"Riba", the Islamic prohibition against interest, would seem good to understand now. Who really needs absentee speculation anyway.

I've read 'The Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence' by Mohammad Hashim Kamali and good chucks of stuff by Sherman Jackson, Wael Hallaq, Bernard Weiss, and Nicholas Heer et al, much of it in Hastings library.

I got really interested when I read John Makdisi's 'The Islamic Origins of the Common Law' in the North Carolina Law Review (1999). Makdisi and others think that several fundamental English common law institutions may have been derived or adapted from similar legal institutions in Islamic law and jurisprudence, and introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England by the Normans, who conquered and inherited the Islamic legal administration of the Emirate of Sicily.

His citations and very interesting as well and lead back to his father's work on the rise of colleges and humanism. It turns out oddly enough that rules of freedom of speech found in Islamic lands was prized by Europeans in the Middle Ages and they made steps to copy it.

I spent a lot of time on Islamic law because it was before the rise of the corporation, and I thinking of a larger comparative project, but never even reached the level of this good summary:

Wikipedia does miss important things on methodology though. The basic foundations of Islamic is brilliant, though we disagree with where the branches lead. Five operational principles central to the Islamic tradition are important:
• Trusting reason
• Respecting dissent
• Stressing societal obligation
• Setting priorities
• Embracing maxims

The legal maxims are very interesting:
• Matters will be judged by their purposes
• Certainty will not be overturned by doubt
• Harm must be removed
• Hardship must be alleviated
• Custom has the weight of law

I had long review article now lost, but there's more on the legal maxims here:

Anyway, I'm not a lawyer or yearning to learn Arabic so job, politics, music, etc crowded out that research branch. I don't have any reason to mention this stuff elsewhere so please excuse the outburst.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jul 22, 2009 12:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

I've read that Muslims don't consider any country to be practicing Islamic law, so it's hard to judge what it really is.

For example some judges didn't think that all apostasy or theft were very serious. To be considered "a thief" you'd have to try hard often. I think the idea was that mercy and love are better, and safer for the judge on the day of judgment.

In the end there must be some middle roads where universals meet.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Yea, many different schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, etc with various branches within each school) as well as differences b/w various Sunnia/ Shi'a beliefs, etc. Not exactly a monolithic worldview. It's a bit different in Marrakesh than it might be in Cairo or Tehran or Islamabad or Jakarta or Lagos ....

Here's some kind of off/on-topic fun:


This post was modified by bluedevil on 2009-07-22 20:21:42

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

Here in Britain we already have Sharia courts operating in a quasi-legal capacity:


Can't quite see it happening in the Land of the Free...

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Jul 22, 2009 1:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: RIP Walter Cronkite

CRAP! Next thing I know, you'll try telling me our hero RT is some type of Sufi crazy mystic channeling guitar dervish. Then again, can one be a lapsed Sufi like a lapsed Catholic?

Then again, The Harder They Come ain't sung by a Rasta - Jimmy Cliff happens to be Muslim (as if it matters).

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